The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the...
Although there is a lot about Machiavelli in this book, and there’s some interesting advice on running a government tied back to the Florentine thinker, in fact this book is far more interesting as an insight into the workings of the Blair government. To be fair to Powell, he points up a fair number of failures in Blair’s decisions (and, by extension, his own and the other members of...
Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
Them is Jon Ronson’s rather lighthearted journey through the world of various extremists, including Muslim fundamentalists, white supremacists and a range of conspiracy theorist loons. Ronson, like Louis Theroux, approaches each of these groups in a spirit of trying to understand them, and because of this granted much more access than he would have been in other circumstances, giving great...
Anatomy of an injunction: CTB v News Group... →
The Guardian’s annotated version of the Ryan Giggs / Imogen Thomas injunction makes a persuasive case that in fact the Judge made the right decision. The result of which, of course, is that the users of Twitter have been used by News Group in order to break an injunction in order that they might make money of it. Well done Twitter.
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2011-5-22) →
Kanye West (58) Sufjan Stevens (26) TV on the Radio (25) Radiohead (22) Raphael Saadiq (20) Imported from Last.fm Tumblr by JoeLaz
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2011-5-15) →
Sufjan Stevens (77) Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & The Orchestra & Quincy Jones (21) TV on the Radio (15) Kanye West (13) BBC Radio 4 (12) Imported from Last.fm…
Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming
Another Bond book down, and the question is, who has Fleming been insulting this time? Well, Diamonds are Forever is relatively light on dated reflections on race, and although there’s the usual smattering of sexism, and a new, but unexplored journey into homophobia, actually this book isn’t too bad on that front. However, it’s not the most engaging of stories, although it is...
Matt Haughey Talks About Running Online Communities And, being the owner of Metafilter, he’d know. If you have anything to do with online communities, there’s a lot of really useful information in here.
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2011-5-8) →
Sufjan Stevens (41) Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & The Orchestra & Quincy Jones (21) Steve Earle (16) BBC Radio 4 (12) Radiohead (11) Imported from Last.fm Tumblr by
It's A PC World by Edward Stourton
Being a BBC presenter, Edward Stourton is not unfamiliar with the world of PC, and the danger that might come should he say the wrong things when on air. Unlike many books of this type, this is not a vitriolic attack on political correctness, indeed, what he’s written is extremely well balanced. He runs through many occasions where the politically correct aims can be dangerous, and...
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2011-5-1) →
Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & The Orchestra & Quincy Jones (36) Raphael Saadiq (23) TV on the Radio (18) Steve Earle (15) PJ Harvey (12) Imported from Last.fm Tumblr by
Moonraker by Ian Fleming
Having worked at his misogyny in Casino Royale, and racism in Live and Let Die, I was intrigued to see who would offended by the end of Moonraker. The answer, if anyone, is German people and maybe a smattering of Russians, but offence-wise this book is surprisingly tame. Unfortunately, at the same time, the first half of it is rather tedious. Following Bond and M while they’re at M’s...
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I first came across this book through the film, which is itself excellent. The book however, takes the themes of humanity’s capacity for turning a blind eye to terrible things (especially for reasons of self-interest) to further, if still rather subtle, extremes. The book is packed with horrible themes, all of which become clear as plot unfolds, but it’s the matter-of-fact accepting...
Bruce Schneier: The security mirage →
Good talk about our beliefs about what makes us secure as compared to things that actually do make us secure.